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Beyond the Bale : June 2018
AWI has once again partnered with activewear brand [sn]super.natural to highlight the natural benefits of Merino wool. To build demand for Merino wool in the Japanese yoga market, AWI in Japan joined forces with Swiss-based Merino wool activewear brand sn[super.natural] at the Organic Life yoga festival held in Tokyo during three days in April. The event aims to promote a sustainable lifestyle mainly through yoga, running, and healthy food dietary choices. Viewings of the documentary Slowing Down Fast Fashion (see far left) were organised on two evenings, preceded by a discussion between an influential yoga instructor and AWI staff to provide the audience with an opportunity to think about wool, yoga and lifestyle. As well as being a natural and biodegradable fibre, Merino wool is ideal for stretch-related garments for use in yoga, and as Merino wool fibres are so fine, they feel luxuriously soft next to the skin. AWI’s support of the expansion of sn[super. natural] in the yoga and active lifestyle segments in Japan followed a very successful joint presence at the Yogafest festival in September last year. At April’s event, AWI had a stand next to the sn[super.natural] booth to link the positive messages about wool with a call to action to purchase the partner’s Merino wool garments. More information www.sn-supernatural.com To build demand for Merino wool in the Japanese yoga market, AWI’s Japan office recently collaborated with Swiss brand [sn]super.natural to exhibit at the Organic Life yoga festival in Tokyo. MERINO FOR YOGA AND A SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE “W ho better to feature in the AFR Magazine's fashion issue, given Australia has 72 million sheep, than a passionate advocate for wool and other natural fibres?” writes renowned fashion journalist Marion Hume in her article. Indeed, who better? HRH The Prince of Wales is a committed environmentalist, who, recognising the plight sheep farmers were facing around the world a decade ago in the face of plummeting wool prices, convened experts from across the agricultural, wool textile and retail sectors to reverse the trend towards petro- chemical fibres. As readers will know, the global Campaign for Wool was consequently established in 2010, with HRH as patron, to raise awareness amongst consumers about the unique, natural, renewable and biodegradable benefits offered by the fibre. “As the major wool-consuming nations began to emerge from the global financial crisis, it was clear that the time was right to reposition wool as the only real, ecological fibre option in fashion that would give consumers a return on capital invested,” he says in the AFR interview. “Australian woolgrowers across the nation enthusiastically supported the campaign in cash and in kind, and Merino wool is now enjoying an unprecedented global revival, which gives me great pride.” The Campaign, supported by AWI, has been instrumental in educating consumers about the versatility of wool, and reconnecting them with its myriad uses – from luxurious fine Merino wool apparel through to beautiful hardwearing interior products for the home. While Marion’s interview with The Prince of Wales covers several aspects of sustainability, at the heart of the article is his ongoing call for the fashion industry and consumers to return to wool. “I believe consumers are increasingly rediscovering there are genuine alternatives, particularly wool, that may cost a little more, but which last considerably longer. I have been persistent in my belief that natural solutions are readily available, a message which seems to be getting through,” HRH says. “It is extraordinary how fashions change, and, speaking as someone who, on the whole, hates throwing away things without finding another use for them or mending them, I couldn't be more delighted if, at last, there is a growing awareness of the urgent need to get away from the ‘throwaway society’ and to move towards a more ‘circular’ type of economy.” “Merino wool is now enjoying an unprecedented global revival, which gives me great pride.” HRH The Prince of Wales HRH remains actively involved in spreading the message that wool is a precious natural, renewable and biodegradable resource that offers many technical and ecological benefits over synthetics. “I happen to mind deeply about the poisoned legacy we are leaving our children and grandchildren and have been attempting to invest in their futures through reminding people of the urgent need to work in harmony with nature, rather than against her,” HRH continues in the AFR interview. “Wool lasts, and as my campaign has demonstrated on many occasions, at the end of its life, it will biodegrade and enrich the soil in which it is buried.” Marion Hume’s 5-page feature article was published in, and featured on the cover of, the 6 April edition of the influential The Australian Financial Review Magazine which has a circulation of 50,000. This was the first time in five years that an interview has been granted by HRH to an Australian media outlet. More information The article is available in full at www.afr.com Granted rare access to HRH The Prince of Wales at home, The Australian Financial Review Magazine in April ran a feature article on HRH’s thoughts on how the fashion industry needs to tackle its greatest challenge: sustainability. HRH RENEWS CALL FOR WOOL The April front cover of The Australian Financial Review Magazine. PHOTO: Nadav Kander OFF FARM 19